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September 2020  

Tech named 'A+' school, has least student debt: U.S. News

Drone photo of Derryberry Hall and the northern part of Tech campus.

Tennessee Tech University has again been ranked as one of the top universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In its annual rankings, Tech is one of only three public universities in the state that are ranked. Tech is also on the publication's "Least Debt" list, with the lowest average student debt among public schools in the state, and second lowest among all schools in Tennessee.

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Tennessee Tech ranked among Best Colleges for Your Money
Two female students wearing face masks sit across from each other in a lab.

As reflected in Money's newest college rankings, Tennessee Tech continues to provide a high-value education for students, combining low cost with a high salary after earning their Tennessee Tech degree. According to Money's Best Colleges for Your Money rankings data, Tennessee Tech graduates have the second highest early career salary of any ranked university in Tennessee, the lowest estimated price, and the second-lowest average student debt. In both categories where Tech is second, Vanderbilt University is first.

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Tech raises more than $8 million in 2019-2020

Drone photo of the back of Derryberry Hall and Centennial Plaza.

University officials announced that more than $8 million was raised in the recently completed 2019-2020 fiscal year.

"This year, nearly $2 million for scholarships was raised from cash giving alone," said Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. "And more than $1.5 million in additional scholarship funding was raised through other types of gifts to the university. These gifts will have a positive and immediate impact on the lives of Tech students."

Donors committed $8.19 million in the fiscal year ending June 30. The total includes cash, pledges, stocks, gifts-in-kind and new planned gifts. The university received 6,749 gifts from 5,347 donors, 73% who are alumni.

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Alumni Association seeks nominations for Alumni Awards

Bronze eagle head alumni awards sit on a table with a cloth reading "Alumni Association, Tennessee Tech"

The Alumni Association annually presents awards to individuals who have demonstrated professional success or recognition among the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Tennessee Tech. The Association recognizes outstanding individuals in the following categories:

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
  • Outstanding Service Award
  • Outstanding Philanthropy Award

The deadline to submit a nomination is November 15, 2020. Please click the button below to read the criteria for each award or to submit a nomination.

submit a nomination

Tech Athletics launches newly designed

Header of new website - "Welcome to the newly designed TTUSPORTS.COM" There is an image of the flag for the golden eagle golf club.

Tennessee Tech Athletics has officially launched the newly designed, providing Golden Eagle fans the same access to information, stories, stats and more they had before with a fresh, more modern look. New features to the site include:

  • infinite scrolling feature for stories, allowing fans easier access from one story to the next
  • "I Chose Tech...", an area where student-athletes share their reason for making Tennessee Tech their home
  • redesigned TTU Sports Hall of Fame page with more detailed information and the ability to sort the list of Hall of Fames
  • more modern schedule pages, featuring large-sized opponent logos and the ability to click on a finished contest for a condensed recap
  • easy to access social media feeds
  • larger image and font sizes

read full story and visit new site

Alumni Book Club to read Frankenstein in October

The graphic has Volpe Library as a slightly transparent background. A yellow bookworm with a mortarboard sits atop of a pile of books. The graphic reads Tennessee Tech Alumni Book Club along the spines of the books.

If you haven't joined the Tennessee Tech Alumni Book Club, it's not too late! We've had great discussions about Educated: A Memoir, Talking to Strangers, Where the Crawdads Sing, American Dirt, and An American Marriage. In October, we'll dust off an old classic and read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It's the perfect spooky read for October! To join, click the link below to request access to the private Facebook group. If you have any questions or suggestions for books to read in future months, please email

Crawford Alumni Center on Facebook

A graphic that is made to look like a word find. The words Tennesee, Tech, Trivia, Puzzle, Crawford, Quiz, Games, and Alumni are circled.

Photo of Sherlock ParkWe've added a new monthly feature in The Alumnus to test your knowledge of all things Tech. Last month we asked the following question: 

Bethel Carrington was a member of Tech’s police force during the 1950s. He was notorious for falling asleep in his cruiser while parked over on the northwest side of campus - so notorious in fact that a Tech landmark has been named with the nickname that Bethel was given by students. What landmark is named for him? 

This was a popular question, and more than 20 alumni guessed the correct answer which was Sherlock Park! Congratulations to Winona Locke who won the drawing for some Tech SWAG.

This month's question is as follows:

On August 16, 1977, Tennessee Tech received a mailgram confirming a big name entertainer's concert on September 27, 1977. The performer's manager accepted our offer of $5,000, and ticket prices were set at $10.25, $12.75 and $15.25. Unfortunately, this concert never took place. Tragedy struck on the very same date we received that mailgram. Who was the performer?

HINT: The answer can be found in the "Big Name Entertainment" exhibit currently on display in the Varsity Building. If you haven't had a chance to visit, the Varsity Building is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (face coverings required), or visit the online exhibit.

Online exhibit

Photo top left: Sherlock Park on Tennessee Tech's campus

Tech-themed games and activities 


A purple graphic with a stock indicator that reads "Taking the Wheel by Lofton Carter"

The Dangers of Day Trading

"People like action and they like to gamble. If they think there's easy money to be made, you get a rush. And for a while, it will be self-fulfilling and create new converts, until the day of reckoning comes." --Warren Buffet

Maybe it's because the casinos are closed, but recently there has been an upswing in day trading in the U.S. While fast money and high-risk may sound enticing, the reality is far from it. But what exactly is day trading?

Click the link below to find out!

"Taking the Wheel" is a financial literacy blog written by Lofton Carter, '20 biology, an MBA candidate and graduate assistant in the Crawford Alumni Center. He has a passion for financial independence and investing and is excited to share some investment tips with his fellow alumni through a series of blog posts. 

Taking the Wheel Blog Page

Archives with Atkinson Graphic

A black and white photo of students in the Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center.

The Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! Tennessee Tech University students, faculty and staff founded the Black Cultural Center in 1989 to provide Black students a space to socialize, be supported and learn about African American and African culture. The center formally opened in August 1990.

The Tennessee Tech Archives is partnering with the Black Cultural Center to curate a series of three digital exhibits on the Center's history and the history of African Americans at Tennessee Tech. The first exhibit in the series covers events held by the center from 1990 to 2019. The exhibit features more than 55 photographs, fliers, programs, invitations, clippings and other documents that show the range of the center's programs. Topics include programs that supported Tennessee Tech students, educational events on the culture and history of people of color, prominent African Americans who spoke on campus and alumni events. The exhibit is best viewed on devices with large screens such as laptops and desktop computers. The exhibit can be viewed online.

online EXHIBIT

University Archivist Megan Atkinson is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials of historical significance to the University and the Upper Cumberland. Follow Archives and Special Collections on Facebook, email Megan's office with questions, and watch for more "Archives with Atkinson" in future editions of The Alumnus. 

Photo top left: Black and white photograph of eleven attendees at an event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Black Cultural Center on Jan. 14, 1993. Source: Office of Intercultural Affairs records.

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Career Corner with Russ


Is your company hiring? On Oct. 8, Tennessee Tech's Center for Career Development will host its annual Business, Agriculture, Government, and Human Ecology Fair. You will have the opportunity to meet students from all majors within the Colleges of Business and Agriculture and Human Ecology and students interested in working for city, county, state, and federal governments. This event is great for law enforcement, non-profits, and the retail and service industries as well. The career fair will be virtual this year and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information can be found in Handshake, a career database used by 700 different colleges and universities nationwide. Handshake is free for employers. Contact Russ Coughenour, Director for the Center for Career Development, if your company is interested.

Do you have a question about resume writing, interviewing, or career planning? Email Russ, and you might just see your question answered in a future edition of "Career Corner"!


read career corner

Class Notes

Dr. Robert C. Williams, '94 biology, was named head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. His appointment is expected to begin January 2021. Read more.

Don C. England, '08 accounting and '09 business management, was promoted to retail manager with Heartland Bank and Trust Company in Bloomington, IL. Read more.

Dr. April M. Norris, '08 Ed.S. instructional leadership, was named deputy director of schools in the Tullahoma City Schools District. Read more.

Tracy Sparkman Neal, '00 multidisciplinary studies, has been appointed vice chair of the Cannon County Republican Party in Cannon County, TN. She is also a member of the Cannon County ADA Advisory & Grievance Committee and runs the Facebook page "Cannon County Info." 

Christina Bien, '19 psychology, recently joined the Dioceses of Nashville staff at Saint Rose of Lima as an administrative assistant.   

Vickie Still, '17 M.S. nursing, was promoted to assistant professor this year at Cleveland State Community College. She joined the Healthcare Division at Cleveland State in 2012 and is the lead instructor for fundamental of nursing in the college's nursing program. Read more.

The Honorable Thomas T. Woodall, '77 political science, will retire from the Court of Criminal Appeals on December 31, 2020, after 24 years of service. Read more.

Dr. Paulo Sergio Da Graca Torres Pereira, '78 music education, was recently featured in Hometown News Volusia. He is internationally renowned as a violinist, conductor and teacher and has performed with symphony orchestras around the world. He is currently the music minister at AdventHealth Daytona Beach where he plays the violin in hallways, nursing stations and open settings to reduce stress levels and bring comfort to the patients and staff, especially those affected by COVID-19. Read more and visit the Maestro Paulo Torres website.

Email us your promotions, awards, and other achievements, and we'll share in the next edition of The Alumnus

Upcoming Tennessee Tech University bookstore sales

Two TTU tshirts

Oct. 5-Oct. 9: Champion 25% off and drinkware 25% off

Oct. 11 Columbus Day Sale: 25% off select items

Oct. 19-Oct. 23: 25% off fleece/cold weather items

Oct. 26-Oct. 30 School Spirit Sale: 20% off select items

Nov. 2 Daylight Savings Sale: Fall back savings on top sellers

Free shipping on orders of $49 or more


The University Bookstore is now open to serve you. Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

shop the Tech bookstore online

The Crawford Alumni Center hopes all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends stay safe and healthy. Please continue to live Wings Up—just keep a six-foot wingspan between you and your fellow Golden Eagles!

The Crawford Alumni Center


Giving to Tennessee Tech